Invertebrates



Schmidtea mediterranea:Sexual Biotype

Schmidtea mediterranea:Asexual Biotype
Our laboratory's efforts to study invertebrate regeneration are centered around members of the phylum Platyhelminthes, in particular those of the class Turbellaria, order Tricladida. Commonly known as planarians or flatworms, these triploblastic organisms occupy a key position in metazoan evolution. Their phylogenetic position, combined with their uncanny regenerative abilities make planarians quite attractive as a model system in which to study regeneration. In fact, work on planarian regeneration dates back to the work of the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) and has continued ever since. Of note are the experimental works of Dalyell and Johnson in the early 1800's, and of Harriet Randolph and T.H. Morgan at the turn of the century. We have begun to screen for and isolate regeneration-modulated genes in planarians. The objective is to identify the genetic cascades governing regeneration in these organisms, and to vertically integrate what is learned from planarians into the study of regeneration in higher organisms.